Make your own Lightning adapter

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by greenhut, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. greenhut macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2012
    If you can't wait for Apple to release their lightning cable adapter ($39), here is a solution that should work, and costs less ($26). Even though it is cheaper, this is a hack, and will only be workable where you can hide the mess (e.g. a car).

    I just ordered these, so can't say for sure it will work, but it should. This still uses the $19 Apple USB cable to do the Lightning conversion.

    What we need is a FEMALE Apple 30 pin connector to FEMALE USB adapter. You can than just plug the standard Apple Lightning cable into the female USB. I was only able to find a female 30 pin to MALE USB, but then also purchased a female/female USB adapter.

    I ordered these from Never used them before, but decent resellerratings. Here are the links to the parts:

    Female 30-pin To Male USB Cable For iPhone, iCAB-USBM30F, $3.99:

    Female USB To Female USB Adapter, ADAP-USBFEMALE, $2.99

    Hope this helps...

  2. OriginalClone macrumors 6502


    Jul 14, 2012
  3. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    I don't think that is going to work. If I'm not mistaken, all the pins on the new Lightning connector are digital. If that's the case, the adapters will do digital-to-analong audio conversion when connected to speaker docks and some car audio systems.

    I'm not sure connecting these two cables will yield a working solution, but do let us know when you get the parts.
  4. greenhut thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2012
    I'm pretty sure it will work. The lightning to USB conversion happens in the Apple cable. USB is also digital - just implemented differently than Lightning - enough to require a "smart" cable.

    Think about it this way - the USB end of the lightning/USB cable is just USB - it is not special because there is Lightning on the other end. The USB "gender bender" certainly wont change anything; nor should the 30 pin adapter.

    Now these parts may be crap, which would certainly make it not work... Hopefully I can post results next week! Even better, Apple will ship the adapters and none of us will care.
  5. seandavid010 macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2006
    I'm almost positive this won't work, and the reason I know this is that I tried it already. Let me explain...

    Long ago when I had a 1st gen iPod shuffle (the one with the male USB connector on it) I had a dock in my car with a 30 pin cable for my normal iPod. So I picked up an adapter made just for connecting the two together. On one end was a female 30 pin port and on the other a female USB port.

    Fast forward to today, and naturally, with the dearth of lightning to 30 pin adapters on the market, I decided to give it a shot. I connected the old adapter to the 30 pin dock in my car, and on the other end plugged in my USB to lightning cable. Then I plugged it into my phone.

    What I found was that it charged my phone just fine. Music, however, was another story. My iPhone just played through the built-in speaker, as if there was no cable connected. I think these new 30 pin to lightning converters have some special sauce built in that converts digital audio to analog on the fly. YMMV, but if I were to make a recommendation, I'd say cancel your order and save a bit of money. Just wait for the real deal.
  6. greenhut thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2012
  7. ReidWings macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2008
    Anyone try this yet? I'm curious to see if it will work!

    Doesn't look good, but I'm hoping someone gives it a try!
  8. pradeepgj macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2010
    Haha.. i was just telling my friend today about this same workaround. Let me know if this works.

    I did search for female 30 pin to female usb but could not find one.
  9. greenhut thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2012
    Parts havent arrived yet, but as Sean and xray have commented, I dont think it will work anymore. It will likely charge, but there is no DAC in the USB lightning cable and certainly not in the adapters. I will post what it does when they arrive, but really no longer think it will work.
  10. msmith2112 macrumors 6502


    Sep 17, 2002
    Did you ever receive the parts? Did it work?
  11. greenhut thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2012
    Parts arrived...

    Didnt even charge, let alone stream audio.

    Apple lightning adapter works well though.

    Can anyone explain this however? On a recent business trip, My rental car(Jetta) had a USB port. I plugged my iphone5 in with it's included/standard lightning to usb cable (no adapter). The car was able to stream audio?!? It definitely was not bluetooth. Is there some other mechanism some devices can use to stream audio that did not use the analog audio available on the 30 pin connector?
  12. anonymouslurker macrumors regular

    May 16, 2012
    Just like lots of car stereos that have USB connectors, they basically see whatever is plugged into them as a storage device (flash drive, hard drive, etc), and the actual mp3 decoding is done by the stereo itself.

    The iPhone in this case is pretty much just a flash drive.

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